Monday, April 13, 2009

The Epic #AmazonFAIL of 2009

Yesterday (Easter Sunday) I was, indeed, hiding under a rock. Freddy and I went to church, then to his mom's house to do the Easter thing with the nieces and nephew. I was a good girl and did not take my laptop*. ALAS! I log on to Twitter this morning and find out I indeed missed quite a bit of brouhaha.

Quick run-down of the events: Why did gay books disappear from Amazon?

Why the "glitch" story doesn't really click: David Niall Wilson: Glimpses Into an Overactive Mind - Amazon Sales Rank and Some Reality

What to do about it: Smart Bitches - Amazon Rank and Dear Author - Amazon Rank

Or, if you're so inclined, here's something else you can do: Jackson Pearce's Amazon FAIL (or: Twilight Made Me Gay)

Other good posts (this list will be updated as I find more links. And find the ones I already read, but closed the window before I realized I needed to blog about it):

After Ellen - What Amazon's "Glitch" Says About American Pop Culture

Narcissistic Ramblings... - And ANOTHER Fail Sister: #amazonfail

Urban Dictionary: Amazon rank

[EDIT] - Amazon Fail: Certain "adult" books (like mine) are de-ranked

[EDIT 2] Neil Gaiman - Amazonfail Sunday


This guy claims he did it. I don't understand all that code-speak, so here's the explanation in layspeak (from Fiction Matters).

The guy quite clearly has an issue with gay people. I can't tell how much of his post is serious, and how much is him trying to be funny (I'm not going to waste time out of my life to find out). Was he just trying to pull some prank on the gay community? Was he out to target authors (gay and straight)? Did he really find Heather Has Two Mommies that offensive?

Did he choose which books people "flagged"? Or did people choose the books? If the guy chose the books, why are feminist books and books that deal with disabilities also being targeted?

And as I was writing this, FictionMatters updated the post, because this guy says the first guy is a liar (which is not entirely surprising to me). I started to read the post, but it speaks a language I do not understand. So I stopped, since I prefer not to pursue fruitless endeavors.


And there's more! Jessica Valenti from Feministing (who's had two books de-ranked) has an update, after her editor spoke to an Amazon rep.


There seems to be an "unofficial official" response from Amazon. FictionMatters has a summary and links to the "unofficial official" explanations.

* I took my AlphaSmart, in case Script Frenzy inspiration hit me. (It didn't.) But I left all Internetzed devices at home.


  1. I pushed through a whole series of updates. Man, I can't wait for this thing to get straightened out. It goes back to my original thought, if Amazon had simply taken control of the situation yesterday, this could have all been avoided. All in all, it's a major PR loss for one of the net's eldest companies.

    Props for creating that timeline, though. Really shows how everyone was whipped into a frenzy before Amazon responded (at this time, they still haven't.)

  2. This was all over twitter today. Thanks for clearing the issue up...somewhat. I guess we'll have to see how things unfold tomorrow. All the best. Heather